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Boy Dies After Alleged Abuse at School in Malaysia

by AFP

File Photo. Cristina Quicler—AFP

School’s assistant warden taken into custody over alleged beatings, according to police

A Malaysian boy who was allegedly beaten so severely with a hosepipe at an Islamic school that his legs were amputated has died in hospital, a family member said on Wednesday.

Mohamad Thaqif, 10, had attended the private Maahad Eahfiz al-Jauhar school in the southern state of Johor. His aunt said he had complained to his mother about the beatings, which were allegedly inflicted by the school’s assistant warden.

The cause of his death is not yet known and a postmortem is due to be carried out later Wednesday.

Local police chief Rahmat Othman said a 29-year-old suspect was in custody in relation to the alleged beatings. “A water hose was seized. The man had previously been jailed for 30 months in 2014 for theft,” he said but declined to elaborate.

Local media said the boy had recorded the alleged abuse in a notebook. “Dear Allah, please open my parents’ heart to allow me to transfer to another school because I cannot stand it any more. Please Allah, make my wish come true,” the Malay Mail newspaper quoted one notebook entry as saying.

The school’s head, Mohammad Afdhaluddin, told AFP he could not comment on the alleged beatings since the case was being investigated by police. He said an internal report on the incident has been handed over to police. “We are now waiting for the hospital report on the cause of Thaqif’s death,” he added.

School authorities are saddened by the death, he said. “We will attend the funeral today. We have close ties with his family.”

The opposition People’s Justice Party has urged authorities to ensure that such abuse never happens again. The party also said authorities must ensure that those employed as wardens are fully screened and registered.

Thaqif was admitted to hospital on April 19, his aunt told AFP. The aunt, Dzuraidah Ahmad, said family members were shocked by his passing but as Muslims “we accept the death as the will of Allah.”

“However, if the police investigations reveal the injuries and his subsequent death was due to the beatings by the assistant school warden, then we hope action will be taken against the person,” she added.

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